morning from Canoga Park, California and welcome to the August edition
of our monthly newsletter, filled once more with good portions of thought-provoking
features, all designed to keep our readers thinking and gaining insights on the
actions that will follow.
Why settle for the prevailing style of thought?
Be a leader.
Improve your thinking about thinking.
As always, this edition was prepared monthly by volunteers of the
In2:InThinking Network. Content comes
from volunteers, in service to our fellow members. We invite you to further develop our network
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In2:InThinking Network Newsletter Team
|Welcome First Timers
Your names have been added to our mailing list by virtue of your attendance in our
series of Thinking Roadmap seminars, workshops, and overviews, or attendance at the annual
In2:InThinking Network Forum,
or through a personal request, from you or a friend. Welcome to our thinking
|Partners InThinking - International Futures Forum
Continuing this month, we highlight a partner organization of the In2:InThinking Network. We first featured the International Futures Forum (IFF) in our August 2006 newsletter. In this month's edition, we provide updated answers to our survey questions. We believe the
resources of these organizations will expand your thinking
Visit IFF on the web...
The International Futures Forum is a non-profit
organisation that exists to develop the capacity to
sustain human aspiration, realised through wise
action, in a complex and challenging world.
How does your organization compliment the
We work in areas where there are no easy answers,
where existing models fail to make sense of our
confusing reality, where we are in over our heads,
where we face an unacknowledged 'conceptual
emergency'. This challenges us to explore and
develop new thinking methods.
Tell us about your membership. What does it mean
to be a member of your organization and how does one
become a member?
The principal resource of the International Futures
Forum is a group of highly skilled individuals who
come together in IFF to pool their knowledge (and
their ignorance) and to operate at their own growing
edge. IFF benefits from relationships with partners
who support our work in a variety of ways:
subscription to our electronic
journal, working with
us on challenging issues, or providing core support
to develop and promote IFF thinking for the common
What resources does your organization offer its
IFF is a self-support network with ad hoc funding.
Our small core staff is based in St. Andrews,
Scotland. We also benefit from the use of IFF Member
Pat Heneghan's purpose built conference and workshop
facilities at The Boathouse, on the shores of the
Forth estuary at Aberdour.
What exciting developments are on the horizon for
Psychological literacy in an age of globalisation;
investigating the conceptual emergency behind the
dilemma of energy security and climate change; the
art of better giving around social entrepreneuring
and the future of philanthropy; new approaches to
rural community development; world modeling as a
context for policy integrity.
|Book Review - The System
Author(s): Rick Stephens and Elane V. Scott
Publisher: Preparation Press, Whittier, CA
Length: 246 pages
The System: Seeking the Soul of Commerce
represents the passion of network members Rick Stephens and Elane V. Scott for our
educational system and what needs to be done to begin to turn it in the
right direction. The book is written in story-telling prose along the
lines of The Goal and Leading With Soul. Although my
natural tendency is to initially find that style of writing a bit slow
and sometimes uninteresting, I am usually engaged after about page 50
and identifying with various characters. Similar to The Goal,
the reader is guided through a maze of problems at a Terra Waste
Management (a $3 Billion company) that can only be addressed
effectively with systems thinking.
Follow this link
to find Phil's entire book review on our website.
Follow this link
to find Rick's keynote presentation from our 2005 Forum.
|Better Questions, Wiser Answers...
|Network member, former Ongoing Discussion Thought Leader, and Senior Producer, Clare Crawford-Mason, recently submitted a commentary to the Washington Times which began with the question, "Why is no national leader or candidate
discussing or studying solutions for three of the country's most pressing
problems: unsafe and wasteful hospitals, the failing auto industry and an
inadequate K-12 school system? This is
especially puzzling when there is an answer-unexpected - nearby."
She concludes her commentary with this observation -
"Television news interested in delivering
audiences to advertisers will continue to concentrate on sick celebrities and
missing persons, so raising the pertinent issues is up to the candidates. Effective management ideas don't fit in
15-second sound bites or on bumper stickers. Perhaps our leaders and candidates
have too short attention spans to propose and debate complex solutions or are
worried about boring the voters."
Follow this link to find the complete text of Clare's commentary.
Contact Clare by email to find out more about her ongoing efforts to make a difference, especially in the area of health care, the subject of her most recent documentary - "How Hospitals Heal Themselves."
Tom Johnson, network member as well as a Forum keynote speaker in 2004 ("The Lean Accounting Paradox") recently heard that the American Accounting Association (the organization of accounting
academics in the U.S.)
has awarded the 2007 "Seminal Contributions to Accounting
Knowledge Award" to Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, the book he co-authored with Robert Kaplan in 1987. According to Tom, "This award is given no more
often than once every four years to a publication that has been in print for at
least 15 years and is the AAA's highest award for accounting
research." More interesting is that those who follow Tom's work closely know that his writings (and thinking) since 1987 have moved dramatically away from the mechanistic conclusions of Relevance Lost. While his 2000 book, Profit Beyond Measure, offers insights on his journey away from his thinking for Relevance Lost, one of his most recent papers, "Lean Dilemma," offers his latest thinking on the invisible trappings of lean. With Tom's permission, this paper is posted on our website. This article was awarded the Shingo Prize, in appreciation of Tom's contributions to the thinking behind manufacturing excellence.
In late-breaking news, Tom is the second speaker we have confirmed for our 2008 Forum (April 17-22). The first was Shel Rovin, who spoke at our 2007 Forum as well.
|Partner Event - Annual Pegasus Conference
Download Pegasus's conference brochure for the latest
details about Amplifying Our Impact: Strategies for Unleashing the Power of
Relationship, the 17th Annual Pegasus Conference, Seattle, Washington
- November 5-7, 2007.
In addition to network member presentations by Tracy Huston and Elaine Johnson, Cyndi Crother-Laurin (past Forum presenter and Ongoing Discussion Thought Leader) will deliver a presentation on the topic of "Catch! Leadership Lessons from Seattle's Famous Fishmongers."Call Pegasus
at 1-800-272-0945 to discuss team registration options. See network member discount offer below.
|Partner Event - Fall Deming Conference
The 2007 Fall Conference of The W. Edwards Deming Institute will be held at Purdue University
in West Lafayette, Indiana on October 13 - 14. The conference will be
preceded by a reception the evening of October 12. It will end around noon on
Sunday, October 14.
Institute conferences are designed to foster a better understanding of the
Deming System of Profound Knowledge® and its applications. In keeping with this
aim, the 2007 conference planning team has put together a program "To Explore Together a Wholistic Bridge to the Future" through a focus on both
theory and applications.
The program includes three keynote presentations, including Barbara Lawton (who Dr. Deming credited in large part with writing chapters 3 and 4 of
The New Economics), Norm Bafunno, Senior Vice President - Manufacturing &
Administration Toyota Motor Manufacturing. Norm will offer perspectives on Dr. Deming's influence on Toyota and Toyota's influence on Dr. Deming. In addition, in game show style, Joyce Orsini will present the "Deming Wheel of Fortune."
Follow this link to learn more about this program, including parallel-track presentations by network members Bill Bellows, Ralph Mullen, John Pourdehnad, and Gipsie Ranney and a closing panel discusion with recent Purdue
relating their experiences in industry and the problems they face.
|Making a Difference...with Bell Boats, Lords, Boy Scouts, and a Prime Minister
Ever-energetic network member David Train, met recently with Lord Rees, the President of the Royal Society in Cambridge.
Lord Rees, who is also Master of Trinity
College and Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge,
is going to sign one of David's Bell Boat paddles
. David also met
Lord Putnam in the House of Lords recently. Lord Putnam is Chancellor of the University of Sunderland. Subsequently, the paddle was signed by the
Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor and the City Leader of Sunderland. Sunderland has a friendship agreement with Washington, DC. David is seeking to establish a connection
with the US
capital through the friendship agreement. What he has in mind is a Bell Boat event to
highlight global warming. This would be the "Main University Boat Race for
the Blue Planet" and held on the Potomac with all of the 15 universities
in Washington, DC taking part. David is seeking help with organizing. Contact him by email to find out more about the help he needs.
Follow these links (one and two)
to learn more about David's efforts to make a difference, including his
recent meeting with former Prime Minister Tony Blair (wearing a red tie in the photo above) and his invitation
to loan Bell Boats to Boy Scouts for use during their World Jamboree at Hylands Park,
|Making a Difference.....with Fixing Carbon - Willow clones ULV and ORM from the Swedish Energy Coppice
Breeding Program growing in Northumberland, UK
scientific understanding of climate change is sufficiently sound to make us
highly confident that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming."
The above quotation is taken from a statement made by the Royal Society Climate Change Advisory Group in April 2007.
Climate change is a systems issue. For millions of years, Nature has
deposited vast amounts of carbon in the repository of the Earth's crust. Within
the last two centuries, humankind has utilised this resource and released
immense quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientific research
shows that there is a close relationship between the levels of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere and global temperatures. Put simply, higher levels of carbon
dioxide lead to higher temperatures. For generations the atmosphere has been
regarded as a "free dumping ground," but the true cost of the one-way system is
only now becoming apparent.
As a example of how some of our members are "making a difference from where they are," the photo above of willow clones was taken by Alan Winlow, MBE in his willow patch in East Newton, England. Currently, the willow is between 8 and 10 feet high and
all of that growth has taken place this year. Follow this link to three book reviews by Alan, each on the ever timely topic of climate change.
Follow this link to download Alan's keynote presentation ("Reflections on Natural Systems") from our Inaugural Forum in 2002.
|Ongoing Discussion Preview
The Ongoing Discussion (OD) for August will feature Michael Iva, shown below.
On Thursday and Friday, August 23rd and 24th, Michael will engage us in a dialogue on the topic of "
100 Ways to Kill a Concept: Why Most Ideas Get Shot Down."
This month's OD announcement will be released on or before Friday, August 17th. You are welcome to register now, or wait for the full OD announcement to be released.
For those readers not already on the OD mailing list - click below...
Ideas to Ponder...
most thought provoking? How does it show itself in our thought-provoking time? Most thought-
provoking is that we are still not
thinking - not even yet, although the state of the world is
becoming constantly more thought
1889-1976, German Philosopher
"No matter what
accomplishments you make, somebody helped you."
1927-2003, American tennis champion
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."
1888-1965, Poet, Dramatist, and Literary Critic
|Check out the Ackoff Center Blog for the latest feedback on Russ Ackoff's latest book, Management f-Laws and a link to an audio file of a
keynote address he delivered at the American Architectural Foundation's National Summit on School Design.
|Deming Learning Network
Thought of the Month
These items are contributed by Gordon Hall of the Deming Learning Network in Aberdeen, Scotland.
How skilled are our organisations at
An extract from the UK
The Populus survey for ITV news found that people
think that both the politicians (85%) and the media (79%) treat their
views with indifference and contempt.
What would the figure be within our organisations?
Would the vast majority be of the opinion that their views are
Do these findings emanate
from our old command
& control mental model.
We contrast this with Tom Johnson's findings at
Toyota and Scania. Management in these companies use measurable data but
majority of their thinking is based round what they
listening to the workforce.
When our organisations
have neither the
listening skills nor the processes to respond to what they hear; they cut
themselves off from an enormous store of ideas and goodwill.
|2007 Forum DVDs
|For the fifth year in a row, we contracted with Kid Flix, the
after-school video services team at Placerita Junior High School in
nearby Valencia, CA to videotape our entire (weekend) conference. Once
again, a job well done by Paul Kass and his Kid Flix "CREW". Their
footage will be converted into our final DVD package by Dave Nave &
Associates. The package of 10 presentations, including the
after-dinner entertainment by taiko group On Ensemble, sells for $150. To order, follow the link from the DVD image above.
all of the master DVDs now on hand, Dave is preparing the first DVD
orders, due to ship within 2 weeks. If you could not join us, here's
your chance to find out what you missed. If you attended and want to
revisit or share the memories, Dave is ready to fill your order.
you've not yet heard, we've confirmed dates for our seventh annual
Forum - April 17-22. Mark your calendars and stayed tuned for coming
details. As for location, we'll be in Los Angeles. As for pricing,
the registration fee for this 6-day event will be $350. This price
includes all pre- and post-conference seminars and workshops,
conference presentations and activities, materials, and meals (dinner
on Friday, continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and lunch and
dinner on Saturday). We will also continue a tradition we started this
year, offering a discounted
registration price of $200 for full-time students in home school,
public schools, colleges, or universities.